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John Mark Rafacz

John Mark Rafacz is the editorial manager of the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State.

Articles by John Mark Rafacz

On Center: Lionel Loueke’s music weaves West African roots with American jazz On Center: Lionel Loueke’s music weaves West African roots with American jazz
3 weeks ago - Town and gown
Guitarist Lionel Loueke grew up in the tiny West African country of Benin, but the terrain he covers in his music is vast. Joined by bassist Michael Olatuja and drummer Mark Guiliana, Loueke performs at the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State for the first time in an April 23 concert at [Read More]
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On Center: Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices On Center: Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices
8 weeks ago - Town and gown
The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra and New York Voices came together in Pittsburgh on February 10, 1996, to record a live album at the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild. On April 3, the big band and the vocal quartet get together in Pennsylvania again — this time at the Center for the [Read More]
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On Center: Cantus On Center: Cantus
12 weeks ago - Town and gown
Cantus, called “the premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States” by a critic for Fanfare, makes its Penn State concert debut this spring in A Place for Us. The eclectic program reminds audiences that even in our increasingly complex and diverse nation, we share a number of [Read More]
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On Center: Broadway’s Sutton Foster On Center: Broadway’s Sutton Foster
16 weeks ago - Town and gown
In the market for a romantic evening filled with marvelous music? Sutton Foster, one of Broadway’s brightest young stars, makes her Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State debut in a Valentine’s weekend concert February 15 at Eisenhower Auditorium. Foster, who won Tony Awards for [Read More]
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On Center: Gorgeous Guitar On Center: Gorgeous Guitar
21 weeks ago - Town and gown
If you’re passionate about guitar music, you won’t want to miss the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State’s January 31 presentation. Three superb guitarists perform Latin, jazz, and Brazilian music in Guitar Passions that Friday evening at Eisenhower Auditorium. Three-time [Read More]
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On Center: B-3 Bomber On Center: B-3 Bomber
24 weeks ago - Town and gown
“Everyone has an angel,” Dr. Lonnie Smith says. Smith’s angel is Art Kubera, who owned a music store outside of Buffalo, New York. In the early 1960s, when he was about 20, Smith liked to visit the store. “One day he says, ‘Could I ask you a question son?,’ [Read More]
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On Center: Japan’s Yamato drummers On Center: Japan’s Yamato drummers
29 weeks ago - Town and gown
Yamato offers everything you’d expect from a first-rate Japanese drumming troupe. But that’s just for starters. The wildly entertaining group of mixed-gender Taiko musicians applies the theatrical exhibitionism of a rock ’n’ roll concert — seasoned with humor — to [Read More]
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On Center: Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin On Center: Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin
34 weeks ago - Town and gown
If you “like” Mary Chapin Carpenter’s page on Facebook, you’ve seen the photos. Carpenter, her smartphone extended forward, faces the mirror sporting a toothy smile and twinkling eyes. To her side, often over her shoulder, leans Shawn Colvin, whose smile is typically [Read More]
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On Center: Classical Music Project On Center: Classical Music Project
39 weeks ago - Town and gown
From the final part of a three-season presentation of the complete Ludwig van Beethoven string quartets and a dramatic rendering of five of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos to the American debut tour of a heralded Austrian orchestra and the sublime singing of a male vocal [Read More]
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On Center: The Kite Runner On Center: The Kite Runner
42 weeks ago - Town and gown
Khaled Hosseini, the physician turned best-selling author, spoke at Penn State’s Eisenhower Auditorium in 2010. Three years later, almost to the day, a stage adaptation of The Kite Runner, the Afghanistan native’s first novel, brings a poignant tale of friendship and betrayal to the [Read More]
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